Paying for a gym membership you don’t use? Kirsten from the Urban Kitchen tells us how she quit the gym in favour of more fun activities, and has become happier and healthier for it.
I quit my gym membership this month.
No, this doesn’t mean I’ve resigned myself to a life of watching ‘Friends’ re-runs with a bag of crisps and hummus every night and never feeling good in a bikini again. In fact, it means quite the opposite. No, really.
Going to the gym has never worked out for me. No matter how close my gym might be to my flat, or how closely the sun loungers are looming, I’ve never been able to find the motivation to haul myself out of bed in the morning, or find the energy to hit the treadmills after a long day at work. I find the huge mirrored rooms full of exercise machines, mirrors and grunting muscle-heads extremely intimidating, and far less appealing than the promise of the sofa. And so I switch ‘Friends’ for ‘ Breaking Bad’ and my crisps for carrot sticks in a bid to make myself feel like I’m doing ‘something.’
Even if I found myself a personal trainer who could put up with my sighs and miserable face in the morning and get me into a proper routine, as soon as I saw results and positive changes in my body, I would immediately slack off and eventually fall back into lazy habits. Sound familiar? This month however, when I fell off the wagon again and found myself guiltily filling my shopping trolley with salad and seeds in a bid to feel healthy again after a busy week at work, I thought ‘Maybe the gym isn’t for me.’
So I quit, just like that, and ‘#gymfreechallenge’ was born.
I realised that I am never going to have a good relationship with exercise unless I actually enjoy it. From now until Christmas I have challenged myself to fill my schedule with all manner of fun, interesting and unusual exercise classes and activities in a bid to get excited about exercise again. So far I’ve done everything from ‘Splitz’ classes and Aerial Stretching at the London Dance Academy, online barre classes from ‘Barreworks’ (I’m building up the courage to go to a real one), competing in a softball league, a morning rave and a ‘Voga’ class.
What’s the difference?
I actually look forward to working out now. Exercise now feels like a welcome break from my hectic lifestyle. Now I actually want to exercise to get good at something rather than just see my body getting smaller or more toned.